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A procession of animals are going on a pilgrimage to the tomb of St Francis of Assisi. The journey is long as the animals meet in Paris and then walk down through Europe to Assisi. So one night, Chaucer the Cat suggests that each animal takes a turn to tell a story to entertain its co-travellers.
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Gr 3-6-A group of pilgrims, led by Chaucer the Cat from London, are making their way along La Via Francigena to Assisi to honor Saint Francis. Many of them gather in Paris at Notre Dame, where Chaucer, in the tradition of his namesake, suggests they pass the time on their journey telling stories. He begins with the Grimms' "The Cat and the Mouse Set Up House." Because the animals have come from all over the world, retellings of tales from Australia, the West Indies, Africa, North America, China, and India are included along with others of European origin. Each one is prefaced by a brief description of the travelers' nightly stopping place and the storyteller's reason for selecting a particular tale. The accompanying watercolor illustrations are in two different styles: whimsical portrayals of the animals and misty landscape scenes of the towns and countryside through which they pass. The endpapers feature a map of the route from London to Assisi. This book was written in commemoration of both the 600th anniversary of Chaucer's death and the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Christ and is especially suitable for large folklore collections or for school libraries where the curriculum includes an introduction to Chaucer or to the history of religious pilgrimages.-Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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